Brooke McGowen

I paint by squirting the paint directly out of plastic bottles onto the canvas. This method makes it impossible to control the paint's flowing motion. The intended figure is subjected to the ravages of chance. By following the tendency of the paint, hidden psychic realms are tempted out.

The paint follows its own path, this natural event cannot be prevented. I try to align myself with natural forces such as gravity and fluid dynamics. My painting obeys the laws of nature, flowing and dripping as it will, but working to suggest figurative forms and situations. The impulse of the swirling paint speaks to our unconscious, allowing personal associations and interpretations of the figurative scene.

brooke mcgowen artist

Man With Cat

36 x 48 in. Acrylic on Canvas

In this series, love and trust are expressed in the theme as well as in the method.

 

The theme, Man with Cat, shows the deep and unconditional love that people feel towards their pets. This connection to animals is part of our connection to nature and helps us become better human beings. Here, the powerful and muscular man has the capacity to great tenderness. Strength and compassion combine.

 

The method, Flow Painting, activates feelings, allowing for a subjective interpretation. The painter trusts the unfolding of the material to provide an unexpected dimension. The randomly flowing paint opens aspects of therelationship between the man and the cat that are only visible to the naked eye.

Flowing Kiss

Landscapes

The joy of pure random flowing color glowing like molten lava, taking us to primeval times. The feeling of swimming in a tropical waterfall orchids and passion flowers all around. The smell of moist ferns and luscious mangoes.

These paintings are 36 x 48 in.

Flow Portraits

This series of flow portraits is randomly generated by squirting the paint directly onto the canvas. The canvas can be at a slant or flat, the paint follows the movement determined by gravity, fluid dynamics and other physical forces.

 

This series includes 10 paintings, 18 x 24 in.

Lovers

The melting and melding of black and white, opposites combining to create something each could not do alone.
The forces of nature applied to the figures, subject to random aberrations.

This series has 10 paintings. They are 24 x 30 in. or 24 x 36 in.

Melting Point

These paintings are 18 x 24 in. They are done with fluorescent paint but are intended to be shown in daylight.

Spirits

These ink drawings are done using pens and little squirt bottles.

 

Using red wine causes the ink to form random patterns which allow for a more subjective interpretation of the figurative scene.

 

The title refers to spirits that can be in a dream or in reality, fellow souls that have a certain role in your life although you may not even know it yet.

The Artist

Oblivious to reality, the artist is enthralled by his own creation, no matter how crude. His rendering of the figure holds more fascination than the entire array of models and figures trying to distract him.

 

What does this say about the function of art in our society? Can anyone so remote from reality be trusted to share something that is valid for many?

Alien Invasion

It is time aliens intervened in this experiment called humanity. The experiment has proved that human traits such as greed and selfishness will inevitably lead to the destruction of a system built on co-existence.

 

We are sorry for the mess we made of the planet. Please help us get things back on a natural course.

The Waterdrinkers

brooke mcgowen artist water drinkers

This art book is 5 x 6.5 in. with 20 pages and 8 illustrations. It is a film scenario about the future. We see the Starving Poor pitted against the Filthy Rich who live in Fortress World. It is a love story about two people from Fortress World who travel through the Mountain of Garbage to join the Waterdrinkers. The Waterdrinkers are a group of people who have created a society based on love and cooperation instead of money.

Illustrations

Biography

brooke mcgowen artist

Born in Chicago in 1953, my parents students at the University of Chicago, I early decided to become a painter. I studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago then changed my focus and studied Physics. My love of Physics has continued to this day where I see the effects of Fluid Dynamics in my painting.

In 1972  I went to Vienna, Austria, where I attended the Art Academy. In Vienna I came into contact with Viennese Actionism and  the Material Actions where paint is used as material. I  discovered the energy of the paint and the concept of direct self-expression through the material paint.

At this same time I also studied figure drawing practicing the expressive lines I saw in the drawings of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. I became aware of the importance of the figure in painting, the impact of a compelling figurative situation.

The problem in painting as I perceived it was to reconcile the wild energy of abstract painting with the representation of the figure.  I knew I had found my calling – to allow the paint total freedom while still representing a figurative situation.

My life became a quest for the perfect painting where the abstract energy of the paint would be at its height and the representation of the figure at its most defined.

I completed my “Silhouttes” series in 1990, figures approximated by throwing dark paint at the white surface.

I lived in Munich for several years where I completed my first “Lovers” series and then moved to Portugal in 1996. There I could apply my color experiments to glowing landscapes of olive and almond trees.

In 2008 I decided to return to my home country and I moved to New York. I lived in Brooklyn where I met some amazing street artists. Using stencils and fluorescent colors were among the techniques I learned working with them. During this period I used the name “Sprezanne”.

In 2009 I founded Radical Art Initiative, a collaboration between street artists and street theater to create visuals for social and environmental actions in New York City. We worked with 350.org and other environmental initiatives with actions such as drawing the 2100 high water line on the sidewalk of Lower Manhattan with blue paint.

In Brooklyn I did two painting series about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a third series about the economic crash of 2008.

In 2010 I finished my “Mutables” series, a group of paintings that change in black light.

Being in numerous group shows in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side gave me the chance to exchange ideas with other painters and to  reinforce my certainty that the new direction in painting requires the unification of abstraction and figuration.

In 2011 I moved to Peekskill, one hour north of Manhattan, where I currently live and have my studio.

Here I was able to perfect my method of Flow Painting which involves squirting paint directly from plastic bottles onto the canvas and then gently tilting it at an angle. This method allows the paint to swirl at will. Color elements combine to suggest a figurative situation. Much is left to the viewer’s discretion to discern and interpret.

Series completed in Flow Painting include Mother and Baby, Lovers in Black and White, Lovers in Gold, Melting Point, Landscapes, Flowing Heads, Flowing Kiss, Offspring. Each series includes 4-8 paintings. The sizes range from 18 x 24 in. to 36 x 48 in.

In 2017 I published an art book, “The Waterdrinkers”, funded through Kickstarter.

A book release was held on 4/29/17 at Quimby’s Bookstore, Brooklyn.

Interviews

brooke mcgowen artist
ArtCopy

Brooke McGowen: “The Other Side of the Mirror”

Vibrant and fluid figures meet and merge in Brooke McGowen‘s paintings.

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ArtBookGuy

Brooke McGowen: Painting Animal

Brooke McGowen is a fantastic and daring artist.  Her paintings sing and her collages and drawings soar.  She’s very eloquent, lovely and fun. 

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AskArtists

An Interview With Artist Brooke McGowen

Brooke McGowen shares her carefully considered ideas about herself as an artist and the purpose that her art serves in society today. 

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